Sunday, January 2, 2011

Culture: The New Year's Run

The two miniature trains operated by the Toronto Railway Historical Association on New Year's Day were side-by-side near Don Station in Toronto, Ontario on 1-January-2011

TORONTO, ONTARIO - The first real run of the miniature railway in Toronto, Ontario's Roundhouse Park took place on 1-January-2010. With a tradition thus established, the Toronto Railway Historical Association that runs the miniature railway decided to run again on New Year's Day this year.

The "Romulus" miniature steam locomotive pulled some of the passengers from the public past the turntable with full-size equipment at the Toronto Railway Heritage Centre on 1-January-2011

The weather was not so cooperative for the second annual event. It rained most of the day, rather steadily during the entire time the miniature railway was operating from about noon to 3 PM. Still, there were people wandering through the park even on a rainy day, and they were treated, if desired, to a free ride on the half-kilometer loop.

Arno Martens had just thrown the switch in the rain to permit Michael Guy running the "Romulus" steam locomotive to take the appropriate track into Don Station in Toronto, Ontario on 1-January-2011

One of the purposes of the event was to test recent changes to the "Romulus" miniature steam locomotive. The locomotive was found to be in good running order, and carried a number of passengers until a new coal supply was tested and was found to be inadequate for steam locomotive boilers, ending that testing for the day.

It might seem silly in the rain, but steam locomotives need water in their tenders to operate, and Arno Martens handled the topping up of the "Romulus" on 1-January-2011

This was also the first run day for the new trackage at the junction between the wye to the maintenance depot and the station sidings. The new configuration felt much better to me as a rider, and the new flexibility proved itself when the decision was made to back the steam train from the inside station track to the depot, which would not have been possible under the old layout.

Most of the group from the Toronto Railway Historical Association that operated the miniature railway was captured on 1-January-2011

With the successful testing completed, the Toronto Railway Historical Association will return to its restoration work for the balance of the winter; the miniature railway is not expected to operate again until the spring.

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